Among women with breast cancer, colorectal cancer or melanoma, those who are taking cholesterol-lowering medications are less likely to die from cancer, researchers said.
The analysis, published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, included 20,046, 11,719 and 6,430 women in Australia who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, colorectal cancer and melanoma, respectively.
According to the researchers, the women had been prescribed cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins before their diagnosis.
The research team tested the hypothesis that adherence to this drug is associated with reduced cancer-specific mortality in a homogeneous population who had used this drug before cancer diagnosis.
The more consistently women took these medications in the year after being diagnosed with cancer, the lower their likelihood of dying from the disease, suggesting that the drugs may have anti-tumour effects.
The reductions in cancer-specific mortality were more pronounced for women who adhered to statins in all three cancers although not statistically significant for melanoma.
“If this inverse adherence-response relationship is confirmed, cholesterol-lowering medications -- primarily statins -- could be repurposed as adjuvant therapy to improve cancer prognosis.”Jia-Li Feng, study author, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia.
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